When considering your pay, it is important to look at the big picture. As an officer in the Air Force, many of your typical financial issues are simply taken care of. For example, the increasing costs of insurance—in the Air Force, you and your family will receive free or low-cost medical and dental care. Add to that the low costs of base living, attractive retirement packages and the many allowances, and you start to get the big picture—and the picture is quite appealing.
As a lieutenant fresh out of college, you will make about $34,000 a year in basic pay
As an officer, your pay depends on your rank and time in service. And if you are a doctor or pilot, there are some special pay considerations and bonuses. In four years, you can be making $47,000–$55,000 as a captain.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the many factors that will make up your total compensation package:
Depending on your assignment location your non-taxable allowance for housing can range from $800 - $2600 (http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/browse/Allowances/BAH/PDF/2013/2013-Without-Dependents-BAH-Rates.pdf)
All officers get $242 a month for subsistence(food allowance), which is nontaxable. This amount is the same for all officers, regardless of rank.
Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) – additional allowance to offset costs from overseas rental
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) – additional allowance to offset high-price living locations (to include many overseas locations)
Hazardous Fire Pay (HFP) – additional allowance to offset high-price living locations (to include many overseas locations)
Dislocation Allowance – additional allowance to defray moving expenses (currently 2.5 times your Basic Allowance for Housing)
Flight Pay – available to those with a job requiring flight status (pilots, combat systems officers, flight specialists)
Family Separation Allowance – allowance for those whose jobs require an extended separation from their family
The Air Force offers a superb 50 percent military retirement plan based on the average of each service member’s highest 36 months of basic pay multiplied by 2.5 percent of the retiree’s years of service.
Leave / Vacation Time
You accumulate 2.5 days of leave per month (30 days of total vacation with pay each year), which can be carried forward (maximum of 60 days) into the next fiscal year.